Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Y tu mamá también (Alfonso Cuarón, 2001)

Y tu mamá también (English translation “And your mother too”) is, by all intents and poses, a film about bunging. Starring fresh-faced youths Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal as best mates, Tenoch Iturbide and Julio Zapata, here are two lads at opposite ends of the social spectrum. Tenoch is part of a millionaire family, complete with maids, marijuana and a sense of unfulfillment in his life – he wants to become a writer, his Economist father wants him to follow his footsteps. Julio is fatherless, and lives with his mother and political sister. Both boys have little direction and sense in their lives, aside from to get as stoned as possible and laid as frequently as they can. When they cross paths with sex older lady Luisa Cortés (Maribel Verdú) at a wedding, they’re instantly besotted, but, believing her to be way out of their leagues, bung her in the spank bank and move on. However, Luisa gets a drunken phonecall from her husband Jano (Tenoch’s cousin) admitting to infidelity, it triggers off something in her to take more control on his meaningless life, so, she takes the plunge and goes for a weekend at the beach with the two teenage boys. Fun, frivolities, and a lot of, er, focking ensues.

Alfonso Cuarón penned this film with his brother Carlos, and it’s clear from the off that they had a lot of fun in doing so. In addition to the sex scenes, the film sports a wickedly cheeky streak – both boys clearly value the sound of their own voices, for they yak away at a mile a minute in the film, on topics ranging from money, culture, America and virgins. It’s clear that Luisa has a great time with them, and we do too. Together, the three have stoned conversations about their first times, numbers of sexual partners, etc. American and British audiences could well be shocked by the frankness of the dialogue and the full frontal nudity in this film, but Mexico doesn’t seem to mind the sex one bit.

Amongst all the drunken ramblings, however, Cuarón is clever to make some pertinent messages about the social and class divide in Mexico. Tenoch and Julio come from very different backgrounds, and this eventually proves to be the downfall of their friendship. We see dead guys lying at the side of the road, as well as a knowing voice over about the recently elected Vincente Fox’s regime.

It’s great fun to watch the two guys initially battle it out for Luisa’s affections, before both deciding to share. The acting from the three leads are all brilliant – Diego Luna has never bettered his turn here and Gael García Bernal gives us a tasty look ahead to the plethora of talent that he has. For me, though, Maribel Verdú steals the show. A middle aged woman at crossroads with her life, she is the epitome of vulnerable beauty, but one that knows her time isn’t up just yet. The dialogue between the three of them is red-hot, no topics are out of bounds, often with hilarious consequences – witness the look on the two males’ faces when Luisa suggests a “little wiggle”. Luisa's initial seduction of Tenoch is extremely hot and raunchy, yet cheekily witty at the same time.

This is more than a simple coming-of-age, road trip story. Thee Cuarón brothers know better than to fob their audience off with tooty fruity, perfect characters who never put a foot wrong. The three protagonists in this film are all flawed, and that’s what makes us love them, and their terrifically fun adventure – whilst it lasts. At the same time, the film has moments of true poignancy and intimacy that no American cinematic sex scene could achieve.

20 comments:

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Emma said...

Nice one! :)

Besty said...

I re-watched this recently and didn't like it anywhere near as much as before. :[

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Anthony Hopkins said...

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The movie is released with great cast. Don't you think this is very beautiful film of Y tu mamá también.. I see this film and enjoy it very much...everybody must watch this film.

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